Food Congress: Community Food Assessment

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2 Guarantee food security. Explore economic development opportunity within the food industry. Educate consumers on the nutritional and environmental implications of their food choices. Incorporate sustainable development strategies for Greater Cincinnati. Increase urban agriculture to enhance the urban environment and to provide additional sources of food and/or employment. Reduce the reliance on the emergency food system. Strengthen relationships between urban and rural areas.

3 The food system is the complete process that allows food to be provided to us. This includes the growing, harvesting, raising, processing, marketing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food waste. Food System Activities Production Processing Distribution Consumption Recycling of food system waste

4 The is a tool that enable community members to examine food systems at the local, regional and national level, and determine the level of food security. highlights trends, problems and opportunities within the food system. differs from other assessments in that it not only identify issues, but also the cause. It also seeks to find local solutions.

5 Why does Greater Cincinnati need a food assessment? To learn more about the local food system and and document findings. Promote: change, food security and awareness. Create forum where food related issues can be addressed and action taken. Empower community (collaborative effort). No formal Community Food Assessment has been done (that we know of).

6 Cincinnati is not unique in its need for a food assessment. Other communities have elected to assess their food system for similar reasons, which is evident in the following case studies. Case Studies 1. Madison, Wisconsin 2. San Francisco, California 3. Somerville, Massachusetts 4. Columbus, Ohio 5. Louisville, Kentucky

7 Reasons for undertaking food assessment Madison, WI San Francisco, CA Somerville, MA Columbus, OH Louisville, KY Gain a better understanding of food system. Devise strategies to improve food security. Establish partnership between community members and educational institution. Improve accessibility to nutritious foods. Provide job training opportunity for youth Determine food and nutrition resources. Promote sustainability while moving toward a more food secure community. Address food insecurity caused by lack of access to healthy nutritious foods.

8 Focus of study area Most studies are focused on low-income neighborhoods. Madison, WI San Francisco, CA Somerville, MA Columbus, OH Louisville, KY 1997 graduate workshop at the University of Wisconsin focused on the local food system. It was believed that food system could act as a barometer of the well-being of the community. In 2001, Dept. of Public Health and League of Urban Gardeners joined forces to identify and promote strategies to improve access to nutritious food in Bayview Hunters Point, a rapidly growing ethnically diverse neighborhood. Massachusetts Health Research Institute and Tufts University s nutrition dept. took an introspective look at food and nutrition resources for low-income residents, in To produce a more food secure and sustainable food system, while empowering and educating the Greater Columbus area residents. Kentucky s Community Farm Alliance focused on food accessible issues in West Louisville and East Downtown.

9 Case study research methodologies Of the case studies cited, the most common form in which information was gathered is through site visits. Site Visits Survey/ Questionnaire Focus Group Madison, WI X X Unknown San Francisco, CA Somerville, MA X X X Columbus, OH X Louisville, KY X X Data collected depended on focal point of study.

10 Outcomes of case studies Madison, WI San Francisco, CA Somerville, MA Columbus, OH Louisville, KY Report publication. Development of County Food GroupGreater visibility of food system. Generated report. New transportation route to connect residents to other food sources Development of food & nutrition guide. Generated report. Cooking classes for low-income persons. Creation of nutrition based task force to address health related issues. Community gardens and cooking classes. Establishment of local Foodshed Council Publication of report. Publication of report.

11 Critical Path Diagram Development of Goals & Scope of Work Gather Information Internet (websites) Data Input Review Assessment Material Site Visits Data Analysis Create Spreadsheet/ Database Telephone Calls Define Categories Government/ Non-Profit Agencies

12 Method for structuring database Ease of use. Cluster data into categories. Comprehensive. Food Assessment Models Interest Groups. Organization Types. Comprehensive. Models show relationship of different sectors of the food system.

13 Interest Groups ORGANIC/ SLOW FOOD ECO & SPRAWL ISSUES PRODUCTION EDUCATION FOOD RETAIL/ DISTRIBUTION FOOD SYSTEM HEALTH FOOD SECURITY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

14 Organization Types GOVERNMENT/ INSTITUTIONS Schools/Universities Land-Grant Extensions Farmers/Producers Restaurants Farmers Market NON-GOVERNMENT Non-profit/Advocacy Media Individuals Corporations Production Distribution Consumption CONVENTIONAL FOOD

15 ANTI-HUNGER RESOURCES/ SERVICES (Subcategories) Comprehensive Model (What s Cooking in Your Food System?) no hierarchy in categorization CONVENTIONAL FOOD SYSTEM (Subcategories) COMMUNITY- BASED/LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS (Subcategories) INFRASTRUCTURE/ TRANSPORTATION PUBLIC HEALTH & NUTRITION ENVIRONMENTAL (FOOD SYSTEM RELATED ISSUES POLICY COMMUNITY FOOD HEALTH & NUTRITION RESOURCES MEDIA

16 Over 700 records in Database Data gathered through various means Internet. Site visits. Government & Non-profit Agencies. Telephone Calls. Difficulty in collecting information Time constraints. Not available for distribution. Not published (i.e. related research projects). Category or coverage area too broad.

17 Anti-Hunger Resources/Services Total of 551 records. Subcategories # Records Emergency Food 22 Government 55 National Schools 176 Child and Adult Care 111 Summer Food 15 Food Pantry (United Way) 144 Other Outreach 28 The objective of these institutions and agencies is to provide nutritious food to the indigent, vulnerable, young, elderly and disabled populace.

18 Anti-Hunger Resources/Services (Cont d) Key Organization(s) Freestore/Foodbank. Government Programs (WIC, School Lunch, Food Stamps). Research Methods Internet Searches. Site Visits. Ohio Dept. of Education. United Way of Cincinnati. Telephone Calls. Research Results Sufficient coverage for Ohio counties. Limited data gathered on programs in Northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana.

19 Public Health and Nutrition Total of 21 records. Organizations and agencies under this section are typically non-profit in nature with an emphasis on community health and intervention. Key Organization(s) Nutrition Council of Greater Cincinnati. Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. Greater Cincinnati Health Council. Research Methods Internet Searches. Site Visits. Research Results Difficult to isolate health & nutrition programs on the local level. Comprehensive research needed for coverage area.

20 Conventional Food System Total of 20 records. Entries cover a broad range of food system characteristics. Listing includes but is not limited to, grocery stores, wholesale stores, conventional food stores, restaurants and other food service businesses. Key Business(es) Jungle Jim s. Wild Oats. Research Methods Internet Searches. Ohio counties: Health Dept. (Food Service Operators & Retail Food Establishments). Research Results Because of breadth of category, limited research was gathered. Intense research needed in the form of questionnaires/ surveys, site visits and interviews.

21 Community-Based and/or Local Food Systems Total of 63 records. Subcategories # Records General Farms 52 Livestock Farms 11 Data under this section reflects local producers and markets of local goods (i.e. farms, farmers markets, etc.) Key Organization(s) Findley Market. Research Methods Ohio University Extension Offices. Ohio Dept. of Agriculture. Internet Searches. Research Results Difficult to obtain farm (livestock) information.

22 Community Organizations/Institutions Total of 63 records. Subcategories # Records General 19 Cooking Schools/Classes (comm.) 28 Universities 33 Reflectcommunity-based initiatives for the betterment of the environment and livelihood of residents. Key Organization(s) University Extensions. Research Method Internet Searches. Site Visits. Research Results Limited results due to time constraints.

23 Infrastructure/Transportation Total of 1 record. Section reflect businesses and/or agencies whose main concern is with public transportation, vehicle and other mobile transportation access. Research Results Comprehensive research needed on section. Community Development/Economic Total of 2 records. Organizations that provided job training and offer assistance to individuals or businesses participating in the local food system. Research Results Comprehensive research needed.

24 Environmental (Food System Related Issues) Total of 6 records. Organizations and/or agency concerned with environmental issues. Research results Limited information gathered. Policy No records. Section reflects legislation that effect local food system. Research results Additional research required. Media Total of 2 records. Entities that publish food related issues and post ads. Research results Additional research required.

25 Suggestions for future research Narrow research problem area (i.e. Ohio Counties) could Yield more accurate results. Enable researcher to produce results faster. Devise questions that need to be answered to glean pertinent information from sectors Focus needs to be determined for this to be effective. Gather demographic information for research area Type of information needed depends on research focus.

26 Potential opportunities for Food Congress to Focus its research. Gain momentum. Produce publishable results. Create and strengthen ties to the community. More in-depth screening and research is required to determine level of each problem and its value to the Congress. Study area opportunities Nutrition/school-based study. Sustainable food system study. Connective between government and non-profit agencies.

27 Nutrition/school-based study Finding from Research Little to no focused education about healthy food choices in schools Ohio Wellness Program Section 204 of Public Law June 2004 (Federal Legislation). Required all schools to establish Wellness Committee beginning of school year Some schools in the Cincinnati area have failed to meet standard.

28 Study could look at Current food choices in the local schools and how they have changed over the years Impact of changing food choices, such as rising incident of obesity and diet related illnesses in youth in the Greater Cincinnati area School response to nutrition issue Look for local solutions Educational seminars Setting limits on vending machines and/or types of food choices within schools Schools partnership with local health and nutrition based institutions and organizations

29 Sustainable food system This idea stems from our mission statement goal of incorporating sustainable strategies Food Congress could look at the level of food sustainability by determining number of farms within Greater Cincinnati as well as local purchasers of those goods. Study could also address locally the national epidemic of declining farm. This would allow us to identify specific problems to raise awareness and promote a more sustainable food system. Regeneration of Cincinnati s Chef Collaborative.

30 Connective between government and non-profit agencies Finding for Research It would seem that some government agencies do not have adequate knowledge of the non-profit organizations within their county Typically referred to United Way for non-profit information. Study could look at How government and non-profit agencies could work coherently together to meet the needs of clients while promoting self-reliance and a more food secure community. We could identify the types of person being served by these agencies (young, old, disabled, etc.). How long recipients have received assistance? Whether adult recipients have marketable skills? Methods for recipients to be independent of agencies. Since United Way is undertaking similar study maybe the Food Congress could partnership with them.

31 Database has sufficient information necessary to accommodate any direction that the food assessment could taken. Where do we go from here?

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